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Questrade online broker review

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Enjoy low commissions on a variety of investment products when you sign up for this innovative online trading platform.

Opt for self-directed investing and save on fees or get a pre-built portfolio and take some of the guesswork out.

Details

Are you looking to dip your toe in the stock market? Questrade is Canada’s fastest-growing online trading platform and charges some of the lowest fees on the market. With this service, you can manage your investments yourself or you can choose to buy into a pre-built portfolio.

It’s easy to sign up for an account in a matter of minutes and you can start trading as soon as you’re approved. You’ll just need to upload a couple of documents and load funds into your account. You can also contact Questrade Canada’s customer service department if you need more guidance on how to get the ball rolling.

  • Think about this online brokerage if you want low fees and you’d prefer to actively manage your investments.
  • Choose something else if you’re not very tech-savvy or you want your profile to be managed directly by a dedicated advisor.
  • Management fees start as low as 0.25% of the cumulative value of your investments, depending on what kind of account you have.

What types of portfolios does Questrade offer?

Questrade Canada offers two main types of portfolios, depending on how active you want to be in the investment process. These include self-directed and pre-built portfolios.

  • Self-directed portfolios. Self-directed portfolios let you pick your investments by hand and trade them at your leisure. You’ll pay a lower fee for this type of portfolio because it doesn’t need to be managed by Questrade‘s team of dedicated experts.
  • Pre-built portfolios. Pre-built portfolios let you take a more distanced approach to your investments. Your fees will be higher for these accounts but all of your investments will be handpicked based on your risk appetite. Find out more about Questwealth pre-built portfolios.

What investments does Questrade offer?

Questrade Canada offers a number of different investment options in both registered and non-registered accounts. These include the following:

  • Exchange traded funds. Buy ETFs to get low-fee investments that let you share the profit and the risk on pooled investments.
  • Stocks. Purchase shares in a particular company and collect dividends on company revenue when the market is performing well.
  • Initial public offerings. Invest in a company going public for the first time to get in on the ground floor before share prices go up.
  • Mutual funds. Pool your money with other investors to buy into a variety of stocks, bonds or other securities that you might not be able to afford on your own.
  • Bonds. Lend money out to governments or corporations to collect interest and get your principal investment back at the end of your term.
  • GICs. Balance your portfolio with guaranteed investment certificates that protect your principal while giving you a set interest rate over a specific period of time.
  • International equities. Boost your return potential by investing in non-Canadian stocks.
  • Precious metals. Invest directly in precious metals like gold and silver to boost diversification in your portfolio.

Who is Questrade best for?

Questrade Canada is best for investors that want to save money on fees while trading on an easy-to-use digital platform. This platform can be used by beginners and experts alike, and it offers a number of different investment options. It can also be used for just about every type of savings goal, from putting money away for retirement to saving up for your first home.

You can choose to manage your own portfolio if you have enough time on your hands to do your research and to learn how to use Questrade‘s tailor-made software. You can also sign up for a pre-built portfolio if you want access to a team of experts to help you compile the best list of investments for your unique set of needs, lifestyle and budget.

How easy is Questrade to use?

Questrade Canada is very easy to use once you get used to its software and some of the investment lingo you’ll need to know to get started. You can sign up for an account in a matter of minutes. All you need to do is upload a handful of personal documents and load money into your account.

From there, you can take advantage of Questrade‘s two main trading platforms and its easy-to-use mobile app. These let you manage your portfolio at home and on the go. You can try your hand at these platforms before you start trading by using a Questrade practice account. This will let you simulate trades without having to actually move your funds around.

What research does Questrade provide?

Questrade Canada offers a number of research options that come built into its software:

  • Industry research. You’ll get objective research on your investments from industry leaders like Morningstar and Recognia.
  • Market data. You can make more informed decisions about when to buy and sell your investments with real-time market data.
  • Watchlists. You’ll be able to create personalized lists to stay on top of the activity in the investments that interest you most.

Pricing and fees

Questrade Canada comes with some of the lowest fees on the market and costs much less than traditional investing. Management fees start as low as 0.25%, depending on what kind of account you have. You may also need to pay management expense ratio (MER) fees for pre-built portfolios.

Your trades will also cost a small amount, with some examples of prices outlined in the table below. Any fees you need to pay will be calculated and applied to your account on a monthly basis.

Type of investment

Price for trade

Stocks

Between $4.95 and $9.95

ETFs

Between $4.95 and $9.95 (but free to buy)

Options

$9.95 plus $1 per contract

Mutual funds

$9.95

International equities

1% of trade value with a minimum of $195

Precious metals

Bonds, IPOs and GICs

Is Questrade safe?

Questrade Canada is as safe as any other online brokerage. The company is a licensed dealer and a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). It’s also a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which is a not-for-profit insurance program.

How does Questrade keep my money safe?

Questrade Canada protects your investments using a number of different security features on all of its software and mobile applications. It provides digital certification to let you know when it’s safe to access its platform. It also uses facial recognition software to make sure that only you can access your investments.

You’ll also get alerted in real time if there’s any suspicious activity in your account, and Questrade even offers 100% reimbursement for any unauthorized transactions that might occur.

As for data protection, Questrade has a rigorous privacy policy and follows very prescriptive data-management protocols. This means that you don’t need to worry about your personal information or investment history falling into the wrong hands.

Customer reviews and complaints

Questrade Canada seems to get high reviews from independent investment review sites. That said, it has relatively low scores on customer review sites like Google and Yelp. Positive reviews acknowledge that Questrade is an easy-to-use platform offering some of the lowest fees on the market.

However, some customers advise that you should keep an eye out for hidden fees as these may be an issue in the long term. They also indicate that long wait times could be a problem when trying to contact Questrade.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Easy application. It’s easy to open an account in a matter of minutes using Questrade‘s online application.
  • Cost-effective solution. You’ll pay less for your Questrade investments than you will with any of Canada’s Big Five banks or many other private brokers.
  • Integrated software. You’ll get access to custom-built software and market research to help you manage your investments seamlessly.
  • Many account types. You can put your investments into just about any kind of account, including RRSPs, TFSAs, RESPs and cash accounts.
  • Many investment types. You can dabble in all sorts of investments depending on the level of risk you want to take on.
  • Easy to review. It’s easy to check your balances online with 24/7 access to your investments through Questrade‘s online and mobile app.
  • Top-notch customer service. Questrade‘s customer service team consists of over 100 agents who are just a phone call away.

Cons

Along with the benefits to Questrade, there are a couple of potential drawbacks you should keep an eye out for:

  • Minimum investment requirements. You’ll need to load a minimum of $1,000into your account to start trading, and some investments require a minimum input of $5,000.
  • Potential for financial losses. You risk losing money on your investments, especially if your risk appetite is high.
  • Powered by technology. You’ll need to be relatively tech-savvy to navigate the online investment software for self-directed portfolios.
  • Less dedicated support. Since technology is doing the majority of the investment work, you’ll get less face-to-face time with a real-live advisor.
  • Poor customer reviews. There seems to be a significant amount of negative customer feedback about Questrade and its mobile app on sites like Google and Yelp.

How do I sign up?

If you think you meet all the eligibility criteria and you’re ready to start investing with Questrade Canada, you just need to follow the steps below:

  1. Click the “Go to site” link above to be securely redirected to the online application.
  2. Provide personal information like your name, email address, proof of ID and relevant documents.
  3. Review and submit your application.
  4. Get verified and load funds into your account to start trading.
  5. Set up a Questrade practice account if you want to get used to the software before you dive into the deep end.

How do I contact Questrade support?

You can contact Questrade Canada by calling its customer service line at 888-783-7866 or sending an email to its support team on its site. You can also contact Questrade‘s online chatbot to ask any questions you might have about your account. If you live in Toronto, you may even be able to drop in to Questrade‘s Yonge Street location for a quick chat.

Bottom line

Questrade offers a low-fee digital platform that lets you make quick and easy investments through self-directed or custom-built portfolios. Learn more about how this platform works and sign up for your free account today to start investing.

Frequently asked questions

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